Many drivers start their formula 1 careers rather early. With the competition getting tougher and tougher drivers are required to have world class driving skills before even coming face to face with a F1 car. It is little wonder then, that drivers are beginning to start and plan ahead in their early teens and even before that.
It has been well documented that a certain Lewis Hamilton secured a driver development programme at the tender age of 13, with and option to eventually drive for Mercedes at Formula 1 level. Driver development programmes are at the heart of the success of these young drivers as younger drivers are able to hone their skills with the best facilities in the world.
There are currently 5 drivers on the F1 grid who all began their careers in their teenage years, with the most recent one being Max Verstappen. Max was only 17 years and 166 days when he made his first start, and just over a year later he put a victory by his name at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix. Whether drivers have gone through the system or not, it seems that the youngsters are taking over.
12 Formula drivers were born during the millennial period and 2 of them have already retired. The average driver age is around 28 years old, but to put that in perspective we must look into the past... Damon Hill started his F1 careers at the age of 32 and won his Championship at the age of 26.
With all this in mind, looking at the current F1 grid, I have learned 3 things... 1. It's too late for many of us... 2. World class training is key to many drivers' success... and 3. THE YOUNGSTERS ARE COMING!!!